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Thread: Perfect Machine Binding????

  1. #1
    Senior Member lhavelka's Avatar
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    Is there such an animal? I have tried 2 1/2 inch binding and sew a 1/4 inch seam and turn it over and machine sew it and the stitches are not in the ditch. So I have to match the bobbin thread to the back color. I have tried 2 1/2 inch binding with 3/8 seam same results. I have tried 2 1/4 binding with different seam allowances yikes!!! Any perfect width and seam allowance that will allow when you turn the binding over to be in the ditch?????

  2. #2
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    hmmm, i usually do 2 1/2 inch binding , especially if i do it all by machine. I sew it, flip over and put straight pins in going along the seam line catching the binding on the back but pinning on the front. that makes sure the machine will stitch right where i have the pins, which i remove as i go along. i take a bit of care pinning the mitered corners and usually catch those well too. if not, i go back with needle and thread.

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Have you tried stitching to the back, turning to the front, and using a decorative stitch to sew it down? :D:D:D

    Using 2 1/4" strips and a narrow decorative stitch, you can try for the decorative stitching ending up beside the ditch on the back side.

  4. #4
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    I can't do it myself but can attest to the fact that it can be done after seeing a perfect example on a quilt at my local Viking Sewing Gallery.

  5. #5
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Do the glue basting trick. You can get a beautiful edge that way.

  6. #6
    Senior Member lhavelka's Avatar
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    The problem that I dont like is the placement of the stitching on the back. I stitch the binding to the back and fold it over to the front. I also tried the glue and I like it. I just need to figure out the placement of the stitches so that it doesnt show

  7. #7
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I just did it on my prayer quilt. I was pleasantly surprised as I havent quilted in years. Being the impatient sort, I only used the glue stick on the corners. Do you press it at every stage? My mother used to say 'you sew with your iron'. Obviously an exaggeration, but I got the message.

    Personally, I think a binding put on the back on wrapped to the front and machine stitched looks good if done very straight with perfectly matching thread. I just checked the quilt hanging a foot from me and I had to look closely to see how it was done. I prefer this method as I can see what I'm doing.

    Practice doesn't make perfect - only perfect practice makes perfect, but it does get easier with time.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    This Youtube video demo by Leah Day was very helpful for me (2 parts to it).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wprg5vzkuGw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MRfADz_pyg

  9. #9
    Member disijudy's Avatar
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    For a quick binding, I like to serge my quilt edge before sewing the binding to the back of the quilt. Turn to the front & stitch just along the edge in thread to match the binding, or do a decorative stitch. I use a 2 1/2" binding. For my best quilts, I still like to sew the binding on the front, burn to the back & hand stitch in place while watching tv programs.

  10. #10
    Member disijudy's Avatar
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    Watched those tutorials above - they're great! I especially liked the joining of the ends of the binding - she actually made it look easy.

  11. #11
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    I've learned not to stress over the stitches showing. I give most of my quilts to "The Linus Connection" a organization that gives quilts and yarn blankets to in-need/sick kids.

  12. #12
    Super Member Crlyn's Avatar
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    I follow Eleanor Burns method and have no problems, especially after previously always doing my binding by hand after turning it to the back.

    http://www.quiltinaday.com/television/video-binding.asp

  13. #13

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    I would think it would be hard to name a specific width of binding that works perfectly for all quilts, every time. The fabrics and battings make it hard as each quilt is a slightly different height. Treatments like serging the edges, sewing the edges down, etc. all will make a difference in the height as well.

    Therefore, I'd seriously consider sampling different widths of bindings on each quilt before cutting it all. I'd make several samples, 2", 2 1/4", 2 1/8', 2 1/2" widths, etc. To test them, I'd pin the binding down for the 1/4" seam, pinning as if it's a sewn line, then wrap it around and see where it landed and where the top seam line would fall or where it would need to fall. I'd find the best one that fit, and if you like it, then proceed with that width, and you'll already know the exact seam allowance to sew with.

    I'd certainly either pin or glue the binding down before sewing, to make sure it's in the right place. Since you've already tested the width, you'll know the exact seam allowance to sew it with.

    This is the only way I can see it working perfectly, all the time. Clear as mud?

    Hopefully, someone else knows better than me...
    Debbie in Austin

  14. #14
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    if you want border to match as you describe you you have to adjust the width of the cut and folded binding accordingly.
    The old "rule" was to cut binding 6 times the width of your seam allowance. However, this didn't allow for folds and loft of your binding. If you fold your binding and measure in thirds, then 1/3 should be the width of your seam allowance. Try this and adjust accordingly. Cutting at 2.5" and using a 3/8" seam allowance is a bit too large. 2"-2 1/4 is more fitting.

  15. #15
    Super Member yetta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    This Youtube video demo by Leah Day was very helpful for me (2 parts to it).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wprg5vzkuGw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MRfADz_pyg
    I watched the demos, thank you so much.for posting them.... .

  16. #16
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    I find I have the best success with cutting the binding 2-1/4 wide....and I have done both the sewing to the front and the sewing to the back first methods...if sewing with a straight stitch in the ditch, I will do either method, and if doing decorative stitch, I think it looks best to sew to the back of quilt first.
    Most of the time though, I am making quilts to be used and I dont worry about the binding being perfect. I can't do handsewing for that long so no longer can do bindings by hand and am just happy to get the quilts finished.

  17. #17
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disijudy
    For a quick binding, I like to serge my quilt edge before sewing the binding to the back of the quilt. Turn to the front & stitch just along the edge in thread to match the binding, or do a decorative stitch. I use a 2 1/2" binding. For my best quilts, I still like to sew the binding on the front, burn to the back & hand stitch in place while watching tv programs.
    I have serged the edges too, but find that it squashed the edge and prevents you from having a nice puffy, full binding. For my flannel quilts I like to use a 3/8" seam, gives a nice full edge and less chance of fraying or coming loose down the road.

  18. #18
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    machine stitching the binding to the front, folding it to the back and hand stitching it down with an invisible stitch will solve your problem.
    i have in the past 10 years tried a few times to machine stitch the binding on both sides. i don't care what anyone says it always looks like crap! i figure if i'm going to put all the work into making a quilt top and quilting it- it makes no sense to ruin it with a shoddy technique of finishing. you do not save anything, you only make what was good work look poor. sorry...my 2 cents worth...i have never seen a complete machine stitched binding that did not look like a machine stitched binding.

  19. #19
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    Have you tried stitching to the back, turning to the front, and using a decorative stitch to sew it down? :D:D:D

    Using 2 1/4" strips and a narrow decorative stitch, you can try for the decorative stitching ending up beside the ditch on the back side.
    Yep - what amma said!

  20. #20
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    machine stitching the binding to the front, folding it to the back and hand stitching it down with an invisible stitch will solve your problem.
    i have in the past 10 years tried a few times to machine stitch the binding on both sides. i don't care what anyone says it always looks like crap! i figure if i'm going to put all the work into making a quilt top and quilting it- it makes no sense to ruin it with a shoddy technique of finishing. you do not save anything, you only make what was good work look poor. sorry...my 2 cents worth...i have never seen a complete machine stitched binding that did not look like a machine stitched binding.
    What you say may be true, but there are some of us who are afflicted with arthritis in such a way that we can't hand sew. I am one of those, and I am not willing to give up my love of quilting just because I can't hand stitch any more. My quilts are made to be used, hence the machine stitched binding.

  21. #21
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Pin, glue, press then stitch in the ditch. It will save you a lot of pain and
    anguish. When you pin check that your needle will cover the binding. If not,
    trim the batting a little. I also trim the corners a little to reduce bulk.
    Anyway, that's what I do and my binding came out perfect. Took me longer
    to prep than to actually sew the binding but the end result was worth it. Not
    one miss. :thumbup:

  22. #22
    Senior Member lhavelka's Avatar
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    I watched the video of Leah Day and there is a line of stitching as she is sewing. I think I see the stitching. I was hoping to make the stitching as not noticeable as possible.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Jamiestitcher62's Avatar
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    Seriously, I gave up cross stitch and needlepoint because my hands bother me. I'm on a computer all day at work and do heavy calculator work, so I can't do hand work to that degree on a quilt.

  24. #24
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhavelka
    I watched the video of Leah Day and there is a line of stitching as she is sewing. I think I see the stitching. I was hoping to make the stitching as not noticeable as possible.
    Then you are going to have to hand sew. If you are using a sewing machine you are going to see stitching. The real answer is to use the right color and type of thread.

  25. #25
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhavelka
    I watched the video of Leah Day and there is a line of stitching as she is sewing. I think I see the stitching. I was hoping to make the stitching as not noticeable as possible.
    If you use invisible thread and a blind-hem stitch (a la Harriet Hargrave's invisible machine applique method), the stitching is not at all noticeable to most people.

    Alternatively you can use embroidery thread and a decorative stitch, such as a machine feather stitch, to add detail to the binding.

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